China breaks patent record with one million in a year

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WIPO Director General Francis Gurry called China’s patent application record “extraordinary”. Photo: WIPO/Emmanuel Berrod

China's position as an economic powerhouse has been given a boost with the announcement on Wednesday that in 2015 it became the first country to break the one million patent applications barrier.

The record is important because patents, trademarks and other parts of the so-called knowledge economy are seen as key indicators of global growth.

According to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), which published the news, the Chinese trend is mirrored globally.

Daniel Johnson has more.

Patents are closely watched by governments and policy-makers because they're a key barometer for innovation and production.

Now, amid reports of uninspiring economic growth forecasts in the world's richest countries comes a bit of good news: demand for patents has hit record levels.

China leads the global field, with more than one million patent applications filed in 2015. That's 18 per cent more requests than in the previous 12 months.

The news comes from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

Here's its chief, Francis Gurry:

"The figures for China are quite extraordinary…it continues to grow at an extraordinary rate… and we see also in their figures they are the top in terms of numbers, patent office, trade mark office and design office in the world now."

There's good news for the rest of the world too, with patents, trademark and design applications seeing "healthy progression" in 2015, the UN agency reports.

Daniel Johnson, United Nations, Geneva

Duration: 1'03"


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